Overcome Obstacles

“Our most radical changes in perspective often happen at the tail end of our worst moments.  It’s only when we feel intense pain that we’re willing to look at our values and question why they seem to be failing us.  We need some sort of existential crisis to take an objective look at how we’ve been deriving meaning in our life, and then consider changing course.” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

“I have found that battling despair does not mean closing my eyes to the enormity of the tasks of effecting change, nor ignoring the strength and the barbarity of the forces aligned against us. It means teaching, surviving and fighting with the most important resource I have, myself, and taking joy in that battle. It means, for me, recognizing the enemy outside and the enemy within, and knowing that my work is part of our power, and knowing that this work did not begin with my birth nor will it end with my death. And it means knowing that within this continuum, my life and my love and my work has particular power and meaning relative to others. It means trout fishing on the Missisquoi River at dawn and tasting the green silence, and knowing that this beauty too is mine forever.” ~ Audre Lorde, The Cancer Journals

“Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience.  Any attempt to escape the negative, to avoid it or quash it or silence it, only backfires.  The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering.  The avoidance of struggle is a struggle.  The denial of failure is a failure.  Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame.” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Malcolm X’s Alma Mater – And How Choosing Between ‘Dead Time’ and ‘Alive Time’ Can Change Your Life.

Malcolm X's Alma Mater - Books.

Malcolm X was a criminal.  He wasn’t Malcolm X at the time – they called him Detroit Red and he was a criminal opportunist who did a little bit of everything.  He ran numbers.  He sold drugs.  He worked as a pimp.  Then he moved up to armed robbery.  He had his own burglary gang, which he ruled over with a combination of intimidation and boldness – exploiting the fact that he did not seem afraid to kill or die.

Then, finally, he was arrested trying to fence an expensive watch he’d stolen.  He was carrying a gun at the time, though to his credit he made no move to fight the officers who had trapped him.  In his apartment, they found jewelry, furs, an arsenal of guns, and all his burglary tools.

He got ten years.  It was February 1946.  He was barely twenty-one years old.

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“All great men and women went through difficulties to get to where they are, all of them made mistakes.  They found within those experiences some benefit – even if it was simply the realization that they were not infallible and that things would not always go their way.  They found that self-awareness was the way out and through – if they hadn’t, they wouldn’t have gotten better and they wouldn’ve have been able to rise again.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy

“It seems that often when problems arise, our outlook becomes narrow.  All of our attention may be focused on worrying about the problem, and we may have a sense that we’re the only one that is going through such difficulties.  This can lead to a kind of self-absorption that can make the problem seem very intense.  When this happens, I think that seeing things from a wider perspective can definitely help – realizing, for instance, that there are many other people who have gone through similar experiences, and even worse experiences.  If you focus too closely, too intensely, on a problem when it occurs, it appears uncontrollable.  But if you compare that event with some other greater event, look at the same problem from a distance, then it appears smaller and less overwhelming.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness

“In our daily life, problems invariably arise.  But problems themselves do not automatically cause suffering.  If we can directly address our problem and focus our energies on finding a solution, for instance, the problem can be transformed into a challenge.  If we throw into the mix, however, a feeling that our problem is ‘unfair,’ we add an additional ingredient that can become a powerful fuel in creating mental unrest and emotional suffering.  And now we not only have two problems instead of one, but that feeling of ‘unfairness’ distracts us, consumes us, and robs us of the energy needed to solve the original problem.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness

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